In 2012, Manitoba’s Aerospace community began a multi-year support program for the Engineers in Residence (EIR) at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Engineering. EnviroTREC and others participated in the EIR project, supporting our aerospace sector. Our candidate came from the aerospace industry and, like the rest of the candidates, came with a lot of experience to share with students.

Our host for Industry Forum was a well known professor at U of M Engineering – Ken Ferens who also related to us one of his industry projects, that of untangling 3000 lines of uncommented code nor software development methodology in the company. Obviously, Dr Ferens knew what he had to do next!


Our panel of EIR session leaders and moderators.


On Friday March 24th industry and academe met at the Canad Inn -Fort Gary to discuss progress and upcoming plans for the EIR program. Over 70 people attended this Forum, indicating its importance to our educational and industrial communities. The EIR program had a humble start in 2012 with small class enrolments at that time. Now all of these courses are at the limit and Engineering is considering how to deal with still-increasing demand for these courses. As the Engineering Faculty requires that their courses are all taught by engineers (for accreditation purposes), the EIR is an excellent means by which students are taught the practise of engineering and which then prepares them for the industry experience which lies ahead.

At our forum, the four EIR’s each presented the key features to their courses of instruction and how it is important to a practising engineer. The EIR who supports our work and particularly that of the GLACIER Facility and GE TRDC, is Kathryn Atamanchuk. The purpose of her key course  – Applied Instrumentation MECH 4322 is to introduce students to the design and deployment of measurement systems. And while going to Thompson is a bit off the beaten path for these students, they do get a tour of the GE-TRDC site on the Winnipeg Airport!

Other courses which were presented were MECH 4342 – Operational Excellence which is led by EIR – Vern Campbell, MECH 4310 Fluid Power Systems led by a new arrival to the EIR program, Vlad Kowalyk and, MECH 4322 – Advanced Graphical Communications which is led by EIR Jim Sykes. Presentations ranged from the practicalities of designing fluid power systems (of considerable importance to Manitoba’s heavy equipment, aerospace and other industries) to the importance of good technical drawings and the need to use a consistent and coherent set of symbols on these drawings.

In the case of the aerospace sector, the EIR has recently been renewed, but the industry – academe gathering was to solicit opinions on what further EIR courses could be added to the current collection of four courses. Industry representatives shared their ideas in the five roundtable discussions which followed and concluded this event. Discussions here followed along the lines of BioSystems and Electrical/Computing Engineering and of course Mechanical Engineering.

An interesting feature to these EIR led courses is that all of them are taught in the evening so that industry participants (i.e. post baccalaureate candidates) can join in the lectures and participate in the labs.

EnviroTREC wishes all the industry participants the best of success in their deliberations going forward and also offers it support to all of the U of M -Engineers In Residence.